Raising the Age

Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in the Territory is a priority reform for the ACT Government. Across Australia, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 10 years. This means that children as young as 10 can be charged, convicted, and incarcerated for a criminal offence.

Exposing children and young people to the criminal justice system can have a significant impact on their neurological and social development and can result in life-long interactions with the justice system.

By raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility, we can provide options for therapeutic and restorative care to reduce children and young people's interaction with the criminal justice system, better meet the needs of these young children and their families and keep the Canberra community safe.

The Position Paper  on raising the age of criminal responsibility has been released by the Government on 3 November 2022

The Final Report of the independent review has been released by the Government on 11 October 2021.

The Final Report is in addition to community consultation in 2021 on a Discussion Paper on raising the minimum agePublic feedback on the Discussion Paper closed in August 2021 and a Listening Report has been published in November 2021 along with Submissions on the Discussion Paper.